Imagery training may be the key to happiness


2017-02-25 08:16

Researchers say you can teach yourself to be happy with imagery training.

There is a lot of unhappiness in the world. Many people are searching for ways to achieve natural happiness without the use of drugs with their potential dangerous side effects.

It's possible to use imagery training to teach yourself everyday happiness

Frontiers has reported via EurekAlert that it's possible to use imagery training to teach yourself everyday happiness. Images and visual memories affect our emotions. It therefore becomes an exciting consideration to strive to train our brains to make use of imagery to influence our emotional state of being.

Imagery techniques can be used to assist patients in modifying mental images which are upsetting

It has become apparent that traumatic events can cause flashbacks which cause a great deal of distress. Imagery techniques can be used to assist patients in modifying mental images which are upsetting in order to help them overcome emotions which are negative. Dr Svetla Velikova of Smartbrain in Norway and her associates decided to investigate if imagery techniques could become self-guided in order to allow people to work on creating positive emotions on their own.

We are all effected emotionally by the things we see and the images which we remember. When we remember visually an unpleasant interaction with someone this can lead to increased anxiety levels which can negatively effect our personal relationships and work. There has been a growing interest in ways to counter such negative emotional responses to everyday events with imagery training.

Velikova and her associates wanted to determine if it is possible for us to work towards optimizing our emotional state by training ourselves to use imagery techniques. Volunteers were taught imagery techniques in a two day workshop. Imagery transformation was used to help people cope with negative emotions which developed from past events. They also learned how to make the use of positive imagery for events and goals in the future. Imagery techniques were also used to assist people in improving daily social interactions and to enhance their daily emotional balance.

Volunteers were more satisfied with life overall and they felt more efficient

Participants were given a psychological assessment and there brain activity was monitored with an electroencephalographic (EEG). Depressive symptoms in participants were found to be less prominent with psychological testing. There was a significant decrease in those who had subthreshold depression. The volunteers were more satisfied with life overall and they felt more efficient.

EEG data showed significant changes in beta brain wave activity in the right medial prefrontal cortex of the brain of volunteers. This region of the brain is associated with the imaging of pleasant emotions and contributions to the degree of satisfaction in life. Functional connectivity changes were also noted in the brain which has a great impact on processing of images.

Self-guided emotional imagery training offers great potential to help to improve the everyday emotional wellbeing

It has been concluded by Velikova and her associates that self-guided emotional imagery training offers great potential to help to improve the everyday emotional wellbeing among people who are healthy. The technique of imagery training offers great hope for people with subthreshold depression.

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